Traveling with kids can be difficult, but this family’s advice could make things easier.
Will and Kristin Watson have been living and traveling across the country in a converted bus with their 3-year-old daughter Roam since April 2019, making them experts at traveling with kids on the road.
“It’s important to be realistic,” Kristin told Fox News Digital about parenting while traveling. “Sometimes we overshoot. We’ll say, ‘Let’s go on this six-mile hike,’ and we expect Roam to be an angel for a six-mile hike. … You just know there’s probably going to be breakdowns in the process at some point.”
“If they need to slow down and go at their own pace, then you have to be realistic and slow down with them and just be compassionate,” Kristin added. “Work with them and they’ll work with you. Kids are very adaptable. . . . They want to do the things you do.”
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Another thing that can help these “breakdowns” is an entertainment kit, which the Watsons always have on hand while traveling.
Kristin told Fox News Digital that theirs has toys for Roam to play with in her car seat, coloring books and, as a last resort, an iPad for when “nothing else works.”
“Usually before we do this, we give her some snacks,” Kristin said. “Snacks are essential.”
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Kristin said they plan their drive around Roam’s nap time, “so at least an hour of the trip will be her nap.”
The family also limits their driving time to a maximum of four hours.
“We stop a lot of times in those four hours to get out and stretch our legs and have snacks and run around and things like that.” Christine said.
He added: “You just have to go slow, enjoy the journey and that’s with the kids. You’re going to work around them.”
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Kristin said Roam is actually “pretty good” – although, of course, she’s used to traveling by now.
“We moved to the bus when he was 6 months old, so he doesn’t know anything different,” Kristin said. “This is her whole life and she is a very happy, very good, smart child. We have no complaints.”
“We actually always tell people that we think it’s harder to have a child in one house,” Kristin added, saying that whenever they visit friends or family, they always look for Roam.
“He can’t get out of our sight on the bus, so it’s actually easier to live in a tiny space with a baby,” Kristin said.
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If you want some tips on where to road trip with your kids, here are a few spots the Watsons recommend.
Casey, Illinois, is famous for being home to 12 of the world’s largest things — including the world’s largest rocking chair — and other “Big Things,” according to the city Website.
“Roam had a lot of fun there,” Kristin said. “We had a lot of fun there, too. It was a really cool, small town.”
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Cave City, Kentucky
Cave City, Kentucky, is best known for its proximity to Mammoth Cave National Park, which has “53,000 acres of natural preserves and the largest cave system in the world with more than 4,000 miles of passages and 400 miles of mapped corridors,” according to with the city website.
Kristin said it also has “a lot of really cool outdoor activities,” including horseback riding, kayaking and a zipline park.
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National parks out west
Will said that when they get out West, the family will go to Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming and Glacier National Park in Montana, where they spend a lot of time outdoors.
“The nice thing about it is that there are special swimming areas and places where we can all hang out in the water as a family,” Will said. “These are a lot of our favorite little things we can do that don’t really cost money.”
In the end, Kristin said the destination doesn’t matter.
“We make anywhere work,” he said. “We went to Chicago … with Roam, and we walked everywhere and did all the things in Chicago and she loved it. Most places have parks, so we always squeeze in a park or something for her.”
“That way we can do the things we want to do and she can do the things she wants to do,” the mother added.